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Podcast #160: Gary Younge, Bernstein Award Finalist

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The New York Public Library is proud to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Helen Bernstein Book Award for Excellence in Journalism. This prestigious award is given annually to journalists whose books have brought clarity and public attention to important issues, events, or policies. 

We're interviewing the five finalists for the Bernstein Award on our podcast over the next two months. Today’s episode features the second of those interviews, with Guardian editor-at-large Gary Younge. His book is called Another Day in the Death of America: a Chronicle of Ten Short Lives.

younge
Photo by Linda Nylind

Tiana Taliep, Bernstein library review committee member, describes the book this way:

The book is a stark look at the effect of gun violence in the United States. Younge explores gun violence involving children and teenagers -- not mass school shootings, but single, isolated killings, in neighborhoods across the country. Younge arbitrarily selected Nov. 23, 2013, to investigate the lives of victims between the ages of 9 and 19 who were shot dead in varying circumstances: from a passing car, opening a door, while walking home, and playing with a gun with a friend. Each of the 10 stories is powerful and heartbreaking.  

Younge's premise is that although these deaths are often tied to the challenging circumstances in which each child lives, their frequency is due to the prevalence of guns in the United States. 

Author Bio

Gary Younge is a journalist, author, broadcaster, and award-winning columnist. Between 2003 and 2015, he  Gary was a U.S.-based foreign correspondent for The Guardian, first in New York and then in Chicago. He traveled the country, covered three presidential elections, and wrote four books about American life and history. He also writes a monthly column for the Nation and serves as the Alfred Knobler Fellow for the Nation Institue. In 2015, he relocated from Chicago to return to London with his wife and two children.  Another Day in the Death of America,  published by Nation Books, is his fifth book.  

Critical Review 

"Ten young lives: 10 deaths from guns. But Another Day in the Death of America is not a book about gun control: it's a book about what has happened in a country where there is no gun control. And although all the victims were at the beginning of their lives, this is not a book about innocents gunned down. It is, instead, a gripping account of the conditions that turn so many America's powerless into victims." - The Guardian 

"It is exactingly argued, fluidly written, and extremely upsetting. This is your country on guns." - The New York Times 

Dive Deeper

The 2017 winner will be announced on May 22. Check out more of our #Bernstein30 coverage, find a complete list of prior winners, and learn more about the process on the official site

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Tiana Taliep is a member of the 2016 committee of librarians that selects the five finalists for the Bernstein Award. Taliep is an archivist in the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Division at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

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